Moto GP – Malaysia GP – Race
A cloudy day at Sepang International circuit saw the rider aling on the grid for the 19th round of the season, with a match point situation in favour of Francesco Bagnaia. The main question is, if the title can be clinch today or the season will solve at Valencia.
Ligths were off and race ignited with a superb start from Francesco Bagnaia, as the Ducati rider climbed from 9th to 2nd in a matter of a few turns, meanwhile Jorge Martin kept the provisional lead on the first lap, Bastianini closes the top 3 and both Yamaha bikes of Morbidelli and Quartararo were at the top 5.
It didn’t take too much for the riders to break the front group, with Morbidelli’s penalty and the superior Ducati pace, the top 3 were quite ahead of Quartararo, Marquez, Rins and Bezzecchi. With Martin also getting a bit of separation from Bagnaia and Bastianini.
Tension started to arise, as the Pramac rider up front suffered an accident that gave the lead to Bagnaia, with also giving 3rd place to Quartararo, the championship wasn’t mathematically decided yet. As the Yamaha rider was slowly hunted by Bezzecchi, who was having pace alike the riders up front.
A debate was quickly develop on the Ducati box, as team leader and strategists chat about the race status, as Bastianini took the lead from Pecco’s hands. It didn’t shut the Ducati’s pace on track, as both riders remain on a same pace, meanwhile on the back, Bezzecchi close the gap from +1.5 to +0.3 in a matter of laps. Quartararo knew that he had to push harder. Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaro was on yet another complicated race, as he was currently 10th and pretty much out of the championship conention.
Eventually, Bagnaia made a solid move on his future teammate and regained the lead, meanwhile Quartararo quickly started to separate from Bezzecchi and was on its way to hold 3rd place and keep the championship hopes alive. Enea Bastianini ends the race on a solid 2nd place and Francesco Bagnaia snatches maximun points possible with another race win.
1. Francesco Bagnaia /// 2. Enea Bastianini /// 3. Fabio Quartararo
4. Marco Bezzecchi /// 5. Alex Rins /// 6. Jack Miller
7. Marc Marquez /// 8. Brad Binder /// 9. Johann Zarco
10. Franco Mobidelli /// 11. Aleix Espargaro /// 12. Cal Crutchlow
13. Miguel Oliveira /// 14. Pol Espargaro /// 15. Raul Fernandez
16. Maverick Viñales /// 17. Alex Marquez ///18. Remy Gardner
19. Joan Mir
DNF: Darryl Binder, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Jorge Martin, Tetsuya Nagashima, Luca Marini
As it stands now, Bagnaia only needs 2 more points difference from Quartararo to secure his 1st MotoGP title. The next 14 days might be the longest for the Ducati team overall. As they could end a 15 year drivers championship drought, since Casey Stoner’s title on 2007.